So, you have a ticket booked and have everything prepared for your first trip. Then those unavoidable thoughts start trickling in and you want some female travel tips to reassure you that YES, it is a great idea. These top 5 tips are to beat those negative thoughts and ensure this is the best trip you’ve ever had. Female travel can be unbelievably intimidating, but the right preparation and these insider tips can help to ease any fears. During my first trip, I was completely fine and up until the time, I landed, when I realised I was completely alone in a country I had no idea about. Panic set in, and I’ll admit there were a few tears, but looking back now, I realise how melodramatic I was being, and it’s something I can laugh about now that I have learnt from my mistakes.
1. Dress like a local.
This is a big plus. Not only does dressing local ensures a safe experience but also brings in an improved travel experience, immersing yourself in the culture rather than being a mere spectator. Catcalling happens all over the world, even in your home country, as a woman, I’m sure it’s something you’ve sadly become accustomed to. It turns out to be a little more frightening in a new country. Do not be scared by it, instead be prepared, behave like you did not notice and stride past.
2. “Table for One” Is A Hard Part of Going Solo
Is there anything better than sitting around a table, food on display, glass of wine in hand, having a good old chin wag with your companions? One of the most difficult parts of going solo as a female is the unavoidable “Table for One” meal. You can devise various means of avoiding eating out by yourself. This can include going for a communal dinner, attracting new people and fixing dinners. You can also just get your meal and eating it back at your room while you go through your travel pictures for the day, and documenting your day in a travel journal.
3. Go Everywhere and Learn Some New Skills
When going on any solo trip, try to get into a habit of walking everywhere if possible. This is a great way to keep body and mind together, burn off excess calories and permitting you time to freely wander around. One of my favourite tricks while travelling solo is to ensure I go along with a pair of earphones for moments where I do not want to talk at all. Do not get me wrong, I love talking to new friends as part of my travel experience… but some days I just want to wander the streets and enjoy the moment. Another way to stay entertained on travels is to try and learn something new. I’m talking cooking, language, painting classes… anything that allows you to learn a new skill. There are a number of apps that make it easier than ever. The most important point is making all solo travel exciting and fun.
4. Always be Prepared
Where there’s a will there’s a way. More often than not, everything works out in the end, but it’s always best to plan and prepare to avoid easily avoidable situations like looking for hotels during late hours with no clue if you’re on the correct street (definitely happened more times than I care to admit).
One of the best things a female traveller can do is to always have a spot marked on the map that shows your hotel information. That way you can always ask for help to locate where you are on the map and get home safely. One thing I always recommend as a necessity for every solo female traveller is to have a journal. Not only is this a great way to reflect, but it also serves as a permanent memory of all the little things, the people, curiosities and wonders you experience. Journals are amazing to look back on, and keeping one up to date can help you remember things you’re likely to forget.
5. Always Pack Light.
I’m all for female equality, there’s nothing men can do that women can’t, but the sad fact is that generally speaking, we are not as physically strong as men. They’ve evolved to have bigger muscles and more stamina, so packing light is essential to avoid over exertion when carting luggage around.
I for one continuously make this mistake, so don’t feel bad about it. As a basic rule, if you should be gone for two weeks or less, you can definitely make do with a hand luggage sized suitcase or 15L rucksack. One thing about going solo I soon found out is that handbags are absolutely not necessary, invest in a good quality bum bag to easily carry everything around in a secure way.